Black Forest Travel Guide

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Thinking about visiting Germany’s beautiful Black Forest? Keep reading this guide for an overview of what to do and see in the Black Forest area. Or dive into one of our more in-depth guides below.

Black Forest on map

What to Do and See in the Black Forest

Whether you’re into food, history, architecture, nature, art, or spontaneous adventures, you’ll find plenty to see and experience in and around the Black Forest! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Sommerberg, Bad Wildbad
Best Things to See and Do in the Black Forest

View our top recommendations!

Black Forest Accommodations

There are a lot of hotels and vacation rentals in the Black Forest region. You can stay in a city like Freiburg or Baden-Baden or you in small towns and villages like Triberg, Staufen, Haslach, Gengnenbach, etc. You can also rent apartments and vacation homes in the rural areas of the Black Forest. 

If you’re looking for an apartment in the Black Forest, do a search on We’ve found several great apartments there (less than what we saw on Airbnb for the same apartment) and it’s SO nice to have all hotel and apartment reservations in one place.

Book your Black Forest accommodations in advance! They tend to fill quickly during peak travel times (summer, Christmas, etc.) so I recommend seeing what’s open for your travel dates.


If you have our Germany Travel Planner you’ll find recommended hotels on our interactive planning map. Seeing where these hotels are in relation to the top sights makes it a lot easier to find the perfect place to stay. If you don’t yet have it, click here to get access.

Black Forest hotel
Best Hotels in the Black Forest

Book from a list of our top recommendations!

Black Forest Tours and Tickets

The Black Forest has many guided tours and special tickets to make your visit extra fun. Book in advance so you don’t have to scramble once you’re in town and potentially miss out on an activity or tour you’re looking forward to.

organized activities from our affiliates

Colmar, France
From Colmar: 3 Villages in France, Switzerland, Germany Trip

Click here for price and availability.

Europa Park
Europa Park

Germany’s largest theme park! Click here for tickets.

organized activities from our affiliates

Rhine Falls, Schaffhausen, Switzerland
From Zurich to Black Forest Titisee and Rhine Falls

Click here for price and availability.

Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg: Walking Tour with Local Guide

Click here for price and availability.

Top sites of Baden-Baden City Tour

Click here for price and availability.

Know Before You Go

Airport: Stuttgart International Airport (STR)
Currency: Euro
Language:  The official language of Germany is German (Deutsch)
Time zone: Central European Time (CET / GMT+ 2 / 6 hours ahead of US EST)
Germany Visa: tourists from the US, Canada, and several other countries do not need a visa to visit Germany for under 90 days.
Germany Electricity Socket: Germany uses different voltage and sockets than in North America, the UK, and other parts of the world. Read our guide to adapters and converters so you can safely use your tech in Germany.
Germany SIM card: Read our guide here to SIM cards and other ways to use your phone in Germany.
Germany Car Rentals: We find great deals on rental cars here. You can also check out our scenic Germany road trips article here.

Black Forest Flower Basket
Black Forest Cake
VW Bug with Black Forest Hat

Recommended Day Trips from the Black Forest

One of the best things about visiting the Black Forest is that you have countless day trip options. You can plan your own day trips for maximum flexibility or book guided tours for maximum relaxation and convenience. Here are some ideas to get your planning started.

Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg, France
Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich, Switzerland
Basel, Switzerland
Basel, Switzerland
Sommerberg, Bad Wildbad
Bad Wildbad
Colmar, France
Colmar, France
Lake Titisee
Lake Titisee

Black Forest Travel FAQ

Where is the Black Forest Located?

The Black Forest is located in southwestern Germany. Stuttgart is to the north, Lake Constance (Bodensee) is to the east, Switzerland is to the south, and France is to the west.

Black Forest on map of Germany

Where do I Get That Map?

If you have our Germany Travel Planner, you’ll find recommended hotels on our interactive planning map. Seeing where these hotels are in relation to the top sights makes it a lot easier to find the perfect place to stay. If you don’t have it yet, click here to get access.

What is the Black Forest Famous For?

The Black Forest is famous for traditional cuckoo clocks, Black Forest ham, Black Forest cake, stunning natural landscape including picturesque glacial lakes, waterfalls and mountain peaks, walking, hiking and biking trails, spa towns, quaint villages, bustling university towns, and, of course, a famous forest.

What is the Closest German City to the Black Forest?

The closest major German city is Stuttgart.

How Large is the Black Forest in Germany?

The Black Forest has an area of about 6,009 km2 (2,320 sq mi),

Why is the Black Forest Called the Black Forest?

It’s called the Black Forest because of the dense growth of conifer trees in the area that have a very dark green color, giving the illusion of a “black” forest.

How to Get to the Black Forest?

You can reach the Black Forest by train or car. Trains will get you to many locations in the Black Forest but a car is better if you want to explore beyond the cities and main villages, get off the beaten path or visit the Black Forest National Park.

If you’re flying to Germany and then heading to the Black Forest, consider flying into Stuttgart, which is located just north of the Black Forest. You could also fly into nearby Strasbourg, France or Basel, Switzerland and then take the train or drive a rental car to the Black Forest.

How to Get Around the Black Forest?

You can get around by driving a rental car or taking trains. We like the freedom and flexibility you get with a car but taking the train is much cheaper.

We use this site to find the best deals on rental cars in Germany.

Black Forest cake
Cate with Black Forest hat
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The Easy Way to Enjoy the BEST of Germany.

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That’s why we created the Germany Travel Planner.

With our 30+ years Germany travel experience and expertise by your side, you’ll navigate the complexities of trip planning effortlessly. And then enjoy a relaxed and memorable adventure filled with unique experiences tailored to your preferences!

Black Forest Guide image